Mammy is not dealing with the speed at which Mini-Me is growing up.
Daddy is not helping.
So yesterday, we went for Sunday Lunch; partially because we were celebrating Mammy being home from the school tour, but mostly because the fridge I’d stocked up before leaving was miserably empty. This and Mammy’s absolute exhaustion, coupled with Daddy having had to do all the everything for himself and the girls for 3 whole days, meant that no one argued when I suggested going out for lunch.
So off we toddled to the Inishowen Gateway Hotel. (This is where we had our wedding and we love taking the girls into the big ballroom. There’s something quite lovely about watching them dancing on the floor we had our first dance on. Aw.)
We finished our lunch and Mini-Me asked if I’d take her to get icecream. I was just about to get up when The Him lifted her up, pointed at the dessert table… on the OPPOSITE side of the fricken ballroom and started to give her instructions on what to do and what to ask for… All the while, Gombeen Mammy here is trying to interrupt with “I’ll take her…” “Sure I’ll go with…” and “Mammy will take you…” and each time, The Him shushes me and continues giving his instructions.
Her face is one of excitement. His is one of divilment and amusement. Mine is one of pure and utter terror, or at least that’s what he tells me as Mini-Me flounces off through the mahoosive ballroom.
ALL BY HERSELF…
I’m not sure what comes over me. I can’t breath.
I watch her charging off, full of determination and confidence. I turn my steely, one eyebrowed gaze at The Him. I can’t speak but obviously he understands my thoughts.
“What have you just done?” hisses Mammy.
“She’s almost 6 years old and it’s quiet. We can see her and she’s perfectly capable of asking for icecream herself.” laughs Him. He is enjoying this just a little too much.
“But. but. but…” I must look like a goldfish.
“But what?” He’s laughing by now.
But nothing. I couldn’t answer. What was wrong with me? Why did watching my healthy happy little dictator bouncing off towards an icecream table all by herself make me want to scream? I wanted to leap up and run after her. I’m pretty sure The Him was poised and ready to rugby tackle me to the ground if I had however.
I watched. She stepped into the queue, waited her turn, stepped up to the table and obviously communicated her request in perfectly acceptable English, as next thing, she came stroming back to the table with a HUGE bowl of icecream, marshmallows, smarties and a flake! And a smile of self achievement and pride and joy that no amount of Mammy handing her icecream could have given her.
And I sighed a sigh of relief that she had returned the whole way from the other side of the room all by herself. Yes. I am a Turbotwat.
Am I barmy ladies? I mean, I don’t think I ‘mollie-coddle’ her. If anything, I’m probably too hard on her. She doesn’t get everything done for her. She has chores to do at home. She is expected to behave a certain way. I try to encourage independence and initiative and to ensure she doesn’t end up an entitled little fart, but yesterday taught me 3 things.
- I’m only happy for her to be independent on my terms, when I say so.
- She’s well able and I need to wise up!
- My Him is a Devil.
And it reminded me of something too. She’s getting way too big, way too fast and I am not ready for it. I’m not able for the fact that she doesn’t need me to do everything for her. And even though Mammies spend our time longing for when they can do stuff for themselves, when we suddenly realize that they CAN do things for themselves, it’s quite the shock.
I have a feeling that I’ll still feel like this when she’s 27 and I’m watching her go through the crowd of a Ballroom all by herself. But by then, I suppose she’ll be going to the bar to get Mammy a gin won’t she?
Probably, but hey, she’ll be well able by then, won’t she?
What was your “Stop it, I’m not ready” moment?